Caulfield Guineas Prelude tilt by Maher/Eustace

Image: Bruno Cannatelli

The Caulfield Guineas Prelude will be a stepping stone for the stablemates to the bigger Group 1 prize

Stablemates Ciaron Maher and David Eustace hope stablemates Lethal Thoughts and Sir Bailey can gain Group 1 certification at Caulfield.

The three-year-olds are set to take on Saturday’s Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) with a view to contesting the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8.

Lethal Thoughts has already had a taste of Group 1 action, finishing sixth, on only his third start, in the JJ Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm in June.

After the break he continued with a resounding fifth in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on 27 August before being sent back to the Ballarat stable.

Sir Bailey has yet to race at Group 1 level but ran in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in March, a race his dam Jameka won as a two-year-old.

Unlike his stablemate, Sir Bailey is trained from the Maher and Eustace complex at Cranbourne and has had one run since the break, finishing fifth behind Shalaman at Moonee Valley on 3 September.

Although on paper Godolphin galloper Aft Cabin would appear to have a stranglehold on the race as the $2.40 favorite with the TAB, Eustace expects his charges to be competitive.

“I thought both were good chances,” Eustace said.

“You definitely have to respect the Godolphin horses. It looks smart and it’s an open race.

“Both of their runs to the top spot had merit and of course they need to up their game.

“Sir Bailey, he ran well. He was a classic miler (1600m) over six furlongs (1200m) at The Valley and did a little late.

“Deadly Thoughts was something like that in Sydney. He came back in a decent race at 1300 (metres) and finished well.”

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